We all have someone in our family who doesn't understand that it's 2014 and their outdated ideas of entire communities of people should probably expire. But trying to convert out-of-touch people into model humans at Christmas dinner is a one-way ticket to awkward silence or yelling-past-each-other mode.

My coworker Franchesca Ramsey decided to help you with a strategy to make the holiday less bad. Just remember, as she says, "Around the dinner table isn't time for Social Justice 101."


For those who can't watch, I've included them below the video, from least effective to most.

1. Try SARCASM! Pros: You feel better about yourself, and a few relatives might get an awkward laugh. Cons: Nobody learns anything, and then dessert is a little aaaawkward.

2. Try STATISTICS! Pros: People learn something and you feel better about yourself. Cons: The out-of-touch person doesn't learn anything, and then dessert is a little more aaaawkward.

3. Try SMACKDOWNS! Pros: People raise their fists in the air, you feel better about yourself (as do others), and a few relatives get some closure because someone finally said something. Cons: Dessert is way awkward but empowering.

4. Try FEIGNING CONFUSION! Pros: It's a stealthy way of pulling a smackdown without people realizing it. The perpetrator might learn to think before they speak. Cons: Dessert may still be kinda awkward.

5. Try BEING HONEST! Pros: There won't be any more race jokes, and everyone will applaud your grace and maturity in a tense situation. Dessert will not be awkward. Cons: The next two minutes will be awkward. But it's going to be OK.

Trying to convert people at the dinner table to your line of thinking will probably end badly and defensively. But talking to them in private and thoughtfully laying out why it might not be a great idea to say awful things could end in a grown-up discussion. Which, frankly, all of us could use more of.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less

Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

Keep Reading Show less

TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

Keep Reading Show less